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Anti-colic bottles are designed to keep babies from taking in excess air when feeding, as too much air can lead to colic. This can be uncomfortable, causing uncontrollable crying. Not every baby suffers from colic, so these specialty bottles are not always needed, but they are considered helpful for babies that cry often due to this condition. They differ from regular bottles in that they are usually vented, curved, or require bags for feeding.
Most bottles are straight up and down and do not feature bags or air vents. These are fine for babies who do not appear to suffer from colic, which is a condition that causes them to cry for hours for seemingly no reason. One way to find out if the cause is excess air being taken in during feeding is to purchase a few anti-colic bottles to try out. If they seem to stop the crying, it is often worth it to continue using them.
Some anti-colic bottles feature air vents that force the air back into the bottle rather than into the baby. Manufacturers of this type of baby bottle also often boast that it reduces the incidence of ear infections and spit up since the liquid stays separate from the air. Other kinds of anti-colic bottles require the use of disposable bags, or liners, as air bubbles are less likely to occur with this kind of technology. Some bottles are curved, also resulting in fewer air bubbles.
It is important to keep in mind that anti-colic bottles do not work to solve this condition in all babies. Additionally, they usually cost more than the typical feeding bottle. Therefore, it may be wise to only buy a few anti-colic bottles at one time and try them out. If the baby stops the fits of excessive crying after feeding, the bottle may be the reason. If the fits do not stop, or if they increase, use of the bottle should cease, and a doctor appointment should be made to find out if the baby even has colic.